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A series of studies have been carried out as final year undergraduate
projects in the Psychology department.
Nina Webster 1998: "Wayfinding in Glasgow University". Summary
Michelle Greally 1999 "Learning to find one's way: In search of improved
Summary: Newcomers are offered a campus tour: usually 15-45 minutes walk round campus with a guide pointing out some of the more important buildings. These tours could be done in different ways: e.g. stops to rehearse knowledge, "treasure hunt" formats to engage active problem-solving, which is generally thought to promote more learning than simple passive listening. Tours do produce knowledge: apparently they produce in less than an hour a similar amount to that which first year students have after some months. However no measurable differences were found between different types of tour. It is unclear whether this is because there are no important differences, or that our measurement method was too crude.
Charlene Boyle 1999: "The role of maps: Considerations of 2D versus 3D maps, knowledge formation and landmarks". It leads to our current recommendations about redesigning a map for the campus (see below).
Susan MacLean 2000.
Using sketch maps produced by recall as a measure had failed to show
a difference in the knowledge produced by quite different tour styles, leading
to a search for more sensitive measures of campus knowledge. This study
compared seven different tests on 21 experienced campus users and on 5
newcomers before and after a tour.
Relying on maps
Willie Coupar, in a
Newsletter piece, says that "Very few of today's youth can relate maps to
ground and therefore campus maps as directional aids are next to useless."
In our studies, only one subject refused to use a map. While many problems
have been observed, in all other cases (including whole classes of school
children) they have attempted and eventually succeeded in using them.
It seems more reasonable, then, to conclude that would be unwise to rely
entirely on maps, but that the effort to improve the campus map and to test
its usefulness is worthwhile.
Redesigning a campus map
We would now recommend a redesign of the campus map to take into account the
The overall redesign problem
Each wayfinding task has two independent parts, to be supported
The media aids we need to design to support wayfinding include:
In addition, now or in the future, we might consider introducing widely:
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